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the bedrock

Our recent move to the country has been an adventure in many ways. The stars are amazing in the open sky, bugs and spiders exist in abundance, and well water tastes pretty good. Recently, my son’s friend was visiting from the suburbs and we explained to him how our well works. My husband and I... read more »

sin-eaters

Many years ago, sin-eating was practiced in parts of the UK and the US. A sin-eater was normally a poor, hungry person who was brought to the home of a dead person, where he was given some bread to eat and a drink to consume. After having his fill, he would then ritually pray over the deceased. This... read more »

the vital balance

Her voice shook as she told me about the problem she was having with her daughter. The concerned mother was worried that her teenager was mixing in with bad company, so she confiscated her daughter’s mobile phone and now chaperones her everywhere. But their relationship has now gone from bad to... read more »

a bad rep

For centuries, the church has sometimes had the unfortunate reputation of bitter wrangling and vicious disagreement. There have been opposing denominations and those within the same denomination claiming to know the true interpretation of Scripture and its application to daily life. These days, many... read more »

families and pendulums

My middle-aged friend was struggling to value his local church. He was raised in a home that emphasized a personal relationship with God but didn’t care much for organized religion. When his parents were younger, their church had stopped preaching the gospel, so they became suspicious of all... read more »

extending grace

When I was growing up, my family often became frustrated because I would take whatever I wanted into my possession. If anything went missing, the invariable response was to “look in Gina’s room,” for I was sure to have nabbed it. In a just vindication of their frustrations, my hairbrush now... read more »

beloved

Standing near the body of his older brother, his pain was visible. Adding to the weight of death was the knowledge that their relationship had been the closest thing he’d ever known to that of a father and son. His brother had always said, “I love you,” whenever they parted. But the... read more »

imperfectly acceptable

When it is first read, it seems like a love story. In truth, it’s the record of what might have been one of David’s most heartless acts. David had been at war with King Saul (2 Samuel 3:1). After Saul’s death, his field commander Abner decided to switch sides and support David’s claim to the... read more »

in the end . . .

“In the East End I found grace and faith and hope hidden in the darkest corners. I found tenderness and squalor and laughter amid filth. I found a purpose and a path, and I worked with a passion for the best reason of all—I did it for love.” This quote from an episode of the BBC TV series Call... read more »

May 12, 2014

How would you describe God’s grace to someone? ... read more »
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